1996-09-18 00:00:00

The funeral of the apostolic prefect of Yangzhou, China was held in Taiwan, where he devoted most of his missionary life, on Aug. 30, one day before he turned 85 years old.

Monsignor Eugene Fahy, a Jesuit missioner who served in China and Taiwan for the past 55 years, died peacefully Aug. 17 at St. Paul Hospital in Hsinchu diocese, Taiwan.

Born in 1911 in the United States, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1934 and later studied theology and the Chinese language in Shanghai and Beijing, according to an obituary provided by the Jesuit community in Hsinchu.

In 1945, he was ordained to the priesthood in Shanghai and was assigned to Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, now part of Nanjing diocese. On April 9, 1951, Pope Pius XII named and installed him apostolic prefect of Yangzhou.

Three months later, on July 31, the feast day of Saint Ignatius Loyola, he was imprisoned in Yangzhou and Shanghai by the Chinese Communist Party.

During his detention, he was in solitary confinement and tortured by the communists, who tried to force him to admit to being an American spy, the obituary said. In 1952, he was released and expelled from China.

The same year, Father Fahy had a damaged lung removed in the United States before coming to Taiwan, where he helped erect Hsinchu diocese and reopen Fu Jen Catholic University in Hsinchuang, near Taipei.

Father Fahy attended the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), as apostolic prefect of Yangzhou.

In the 1970s he obtained property for a new church, which later became the Immaculate Heart Cathedral of Hsinchu, in which he resided until the Church was turned over to the native clergy of Taiwan in the early 1980s.

Still active in many religious and civic events, Father Fahy organized and funded Church and social services in Hsinchu, and, until one month before his death, was the treasurer of the Jesuit community there.

The obituary said he visited mainland China several years ago but was forced to leave and was told never to return.

Jesuit Father Joseph Ching Yao-shan, chairman of the board of St. Joseph´s Center for Special Education, told the resurrection Mass audience at the Hsinchu cathedral that Father Fahy had a "gentle and kind" demeanor.

Bishop Luke Liu Hsien-tang of Hsinchu, Jesuit Provincial Father Beda Liu Chia-cheng, bishops and nearly 200 priests concelebrated.

The late Jesuit priest´s body was buried at Hsinchu´s Catholic Cemetery.


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